Byron Buxton, Twins outfielder (⬆️ UP)
Buxton briefly had an inside-the-park home run in the ninth inning of the Twins’ 3-1 loss on Monday, but it was reviewed and ruled a double after Eloy Jimenez saw the ball skid under the outfield wall and basically just gave up. Well, the very next night, Buxton had another quick trip around the bases. This time, it counted. Chicago rookie Luis Robert misplayed a fly ball near the wall and it ricocheted back towards the infield. By the time right fielder Adam Engel got to the baseball, Buxton was around third and on his way home. He circled the bases in 13.94 seconds. That’s fast.
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) September 16, 2020
Yannick Ngakoue, Vikings defensive end (⬇️ DOWN)
The Vikings’ big acquisition just weeks before the start of the season was rather quiet Sunday. With Danielle Hunter on the injured reserve, it was up to Ngakoue and Ifeadi Odenigbo to apply pressure on Rodgers. The defense never recorded a sack. Ngakoue logged one of the Vikings’ two quarterback hits, but that was it.
Sylvia Fowles, Lynx center (⬆️ UP)
Fowles was limited to playing seven games from the WNBA bubble due to a calf strain. But when Minnesota plays Phoenix in a win-or-go-home playoff contest Thursday night, Fowles will be in the starting five. The Lynx were 5-1 in games that Fowles started and finished in the bubble. She averaged 14.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per contests.
Twins clutch hitting (⬇️ DOWN)
Minnesota ranks fifth in baseball with a .274 batting average with runners in scoring position. The Twins’ on-base percentage is even better, coming in at second at .380. But it was nowhere to be found Monday night. Minnesota scored just one run on eight hits and 10 walks, leaving 15 runners on base. Ouch.
Kenta Maeda, Twins starting pitcher (⬆️ UP)
Minnesota has a new ace in town. Trading Brusdar Graterol, a minor-league infielder and a draft pick for Maeda is looking like a better and better move by the day. Maeda held Cleveland scoreless through seven innings Friday night to lower his ERA to 2.43. Compared to the four biggest starting pitcher names on the free-agent market last offseason — Madison Bumgarner, Gerrit Cole, Hyun Jin Ryu and Zack Wheeler — Maeda leads that group in ERA, FIP (2.87), WHIP (0.74), wOBA (.206) and hard hit percentage (24.8%). Well done, Twins brass.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings quarterback (⬇️ DOWN)
The launch of the 2020 season was more of a stumble for Cousins. At halftime of the Vikings’ 43-34 loss to Green Bay on Sunday, Cousins was 3-for-5 for 54 yards and an ugly interception. When the game was out of reach, Cousins piled on plenty of garbage time stats and finished the day with 359 passing yards, two touchdowns and a pick. Sure, the defense didn’t do its part, allowing 522 total yards and four Aaron Rodgers passing scores. But the Vikings setting a single-game franchise worst with a time of possession of 18:44 is on the quarterback as well.
Jonas Brodin, Wild defenseman (⬆️ UP)
Brodin is a rich, rich man now. The Wild signed the defenseman to a seven-year deal worth $42 million to begin what should be an eventful offseason for general manager Bill Guerin.